It is suppose to be a day for love, a day of telling those close to us that we love and cherish them, a day when we exchange hearts in grade school hope that special someone likes us as much as we like them. Love, however, was probably not what was in the heart of Mr, John Stoddard, age 48,formerly of Oakland, California, that morning of February 14, 1951, as he walked down the streets of Wallace.
No, love was not what Stoddard was feeling as he gunned down Gail Hailstone, 33 of Wallace, Willis A Maitland, 49 of Wallace, and Robert Allen, 29 of Wallace. Hailstone, a Sunshine Mine employee died, and Stoddad was shot dead by host of local law enforcement.
Where did this massive shootout happen, you ask? It happened right in the old Wallace Supply Store on Cedar Street. It was 4:55 AM when the firs shots were fired by the crazed killer, and his first victim was Gail Hailstone. Why had Stoddard broken into the store that morning? Was theft his intention? The police don't think that was it because the cash register had not been messed with and nothing was missing from the store. The general consensus according to the Spokesman Review was "that the man was crazed before the foray started".
Well, here is the account was reported in the Spokesman on Feb. 15, 1951. Who knew that Wallace had such a shootout in modern times.